The installations, products, and designers not to miss at this year's LDF, taking place September 16-24 in the British capital.
Around 68 design studios and collectives will gather under the roof of the Old Truman Brewery to present a comprehensive overview of contemporary Dutch design. On view will be designer-run platform Form&Seek, as it launches its first retail collection; the maverick collective Dutch Invertuals; and young-designer champions Vij5. September 21–24.
Thirteen of the most talented independent designers and studios from the U.S. will gather for Assembly. Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov, founders of Sight Unseen, curated a line-up that showcases some of the ground-breaking thinking and material experimentation driving American design today. Exhibitors include Steven Haulenbeek, Fernando Mastrangelo, and Bower. September 21-24.
Estate Playground will transform the entrance to CitizenM’s Shoreditch hotel into a public playground inspired by Yinka Ilori’s experience of growing up on a council estate in North London. Ilori’s playground consists of a slide, a see-saw, and a roundabout featuring bright colors and patterns used in traditional Nigerian textiles. September 16-24.
Lee Broom celebrates his tenth London Design Festival with the launch of a limited-edition capsule collection of some of his designs from the past decade, reinterpreted in black. His Shoreditch flagship store will be totally transformed into a tableau with a surreal twist. Fully decorated in black and charcoal gray, the store will become a dark atmospheric backdrop for the reinterpreted pieces. September 20-24.
Curated by Laura Houseley of Modern Design Review magazine, Ready Made Go 3 highlights a series of specially commissioned products by London-based designers. Ready Made Go 3 will focus on sustainable and recycled materials, including Smile Plastic, a sheet material created from recycled plastics, and Plastic Baroque, an extruded recycled plastic technique by James Shaw. September 19-24.
Sarah Myerscough Gallery selects international craft and design artists in a curated exhibition at 201 Bishopsgate, Broadgate. Craft and Contemporary Design ties together innovation and craftsmanship across a range of woodworking practices, investigating craft’s crucial role in today’s contemporary design discourse. September 4-November 2.
Curated by Lisbon-based designer Marco Sousa Santos—a leading protagonist of contemporary Portuguese design—Inspiring Portugal spotlights the country’s new talent in an exhibition entitled ‘RAW’. This new generation of Portuguese designers value a slower, workshop-based approach to design, making use of traditional methods alongside new technologies. September 21-24. Stand 4, Super Brands London Hall.
The Material of the Year design showcase aims to introduce fairgoers to the most interesting and boundary-pushing materials and processes at play in the modern design world. The idea for the initiative was sparked by its first subject—Jesmonite®, a lightweight acrylic-modified gypsum composite. Ariane Prin and Zuza Mengham show off their use of the material with installations at Old Truman Brewery. September 21-24.
In collaboration with The Office Group (TOG), Universal Design Studio will unveil a site-specific public installation in Shoreditch, designed specifically for the public programming it will house: an experimental series of talks and workshops focused on manual repetition and its link to mental creativity. The pavilion’s form is a collaborative installation of hundreds of paper forms, the components of which require manual assembly by visitors over the course of the festival. September 16-24.
London Design Festival sees the global launch of Tord Boontje’s new collection of chandelier and crystal lighting components, designed for Swarovski Crystal Palace. Boontje has collaborated with Swarovski to produce Luminous Reflections, a collection of three crystal lighting components and four lighting designs that have fluid, unfaceted surfaces. September 18-24.
COMPAC will present Mineral Gravity, a new installation by artist and designer Arik Levy at Somerset House. Levy will create a minimalist setting that will explore the dialogue between the horizontal and vertical parameters of our living environment. The centerpiece of the installation is a massive sculptural mono-block mineral quartz kitchen island that will “float” within the space like a black iceberg. September 18-24.
The inaugural collection of nolii, a new lifestyle-focused tech accessories brand co-founded by Benjamin Hubert and Asad Hamir, will debut within a specially created environment as part of Design Frontiers. A rotating light source that mimics the movement of the sun creates a dynamic shadow play across fixed elements that can be interpreted as individuals connecting within an urban landscape. September 18-24.
Designer Brodie Neill presents Drop in the Ocean at ME London, a site-specific installation, located in The Atrium of the iconic Foster + Partners designed ME London. Neill’s presentation confronts the problem of ocean plastic waste and premieres his work Flotsam, produced using his self-created material Ocean Terrazzo. September 14-30.
Mini Living will return to London with its second Landmark Project: Mini Living: Urban Cabin, located by the iconic Oxo Tower. URBAN CABIN consists of a clever module reflecting its environment and featuring distinct London characteristics created by local architect Sam Jacob. September 16-24.
Gallery FUMI presents GLASS.MEKANO, a solo show by Thomas Lemut. In this new body of work, his first in glass, Lemut challenges the restraints of working with this material to produce pieces that reflect his distinct design approach and aesthetic language. The result is an unprecedented collection of solid functional glass furniture. September 18-November 18.
Christopher Jenner will launch his Epicurean silver collection in collaboration with heritage British silverware brand E&Co. The Epicurean collection will be presented for the first time as a conceptual, sensory installation, with a series of special tasting events created by Ido Garini from Studio Appetit and hosted by luxury Mayfair retailer Thomas Goode & Co. September 18-22.
Matter of Stuff will present a series of furniture and lighting pieces which evoke the spirit of a cocktail lounge bar at Sketch. New pieces include the trolley bar A Drink with Wes by 1millimetre, the Club Chair by Glen Baghurst, and the evocative mobiles Luminarie by Sabina Belfiore Lucovich. A flight of especially designed cocktails imagined by sketch mixologists will provide an edible design experience throughout the duration of the festival. September 19-November 15.
Moooi London Showroom & Brand Store will be transformed into a wondrous installation of Coppélia lights and new Jackson Chairs, focusing around a rug featuring Marcel Wanders’s iris. The interactive installation will allow visitors to capture a magnified image of their own iris. September 16-23.
Stellar Works, presents Indigo: A Cultural Iconography, an installation by Neri&Hu at the Design Museum exploring materiality in manufacturing and the associations between old and new and east and west. A disassembled Ming Chair provides the starting point for the installation, which presents the chair in seven further iterations, beginning with raw untreated wood, before presenting a kaleidoscope of textures and saturations. September 16-24.
Reflection Room is an immersive colored light experience in the Victoria and Albert Museum's Prince Consort Gallery. The vaulted space is illuminated with Flynn Talbot’s blue and orange lighting, and large black reflective Barrisol panels are used to expand the width of the space, offering a fragmented view of shifting colors and faceted reflections. September 16-24.
British designer Ross Lovegrove has created Transmission, a spectacular free-standing three dimensional tapestry at the V&A that uses Alcantara®. The soft undulating folds in the installation highlight and merge both colors and forms of the museum's medieval tapestries. September 16-October 8.
Kartell will present a special installation of its latest products and a show in honor of Componibili on the 50th anniversary of the iconic piece created by Anna Castelli Ferrieri. Along with special editions created for the anniversary by international designers including Ron Arad and Mario Bellini, the show will also display new original interpretations of Componibili by British design, fashion, and art brands. September 16-24.
Poltrona Frau will launch a limited-edition collection of the iconic Vanity Fair armchair in three different sizes. The Baby and the Mini version pieces will be upholstered in a special playful geometric pattern created by the children of Tolentino, where the company is headquartered, for the children of Favara, a Sicilian town which has been transformed from a run-down village into a cultural hub by the art charity FARM Cultural Park.
Faye Toogood has invited 50 of the leading creative forces in the country to take part in this collaborative project. The principle behind The Trade Show is a simple one: Toogood has presented each of the participants with one of her signature Spade chairs (created for this project in a special limited-edition sandcast-aluminium), and in return they have donated a representative piece of their own work. September 16-24.
Water is a new exhibition that seeks to explore the properties, behaviors, aesthetics, and eco-social importance of water. Showing at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham, the show offers 13 unique interpretations of a single substance. From water-generating robots to DIY underwater cameras, the exhibition promises to explore our most precious natural resource through boundary-pushing objects, installations, and ideas. September 19-24.